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Muscle fatigue

Achieving muscle fatigue, not lifting heavy weights, key to building healthy muscle

Sunday, August 15, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: muscle fatigue, weight lifting, health news

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(NaturalNews) A new study out of McMaster University says that lifting heavy weights is not the best way to gain healthy muscle mass. Lifting lighter weights until your muscles are tired is better, they say.

"Rather than grunting and straining to lift heavy weights, you can grab something much lighter but you have to lift it until you can't lift it anymore," explained Stuart Phillips, associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster. "We're convinced that growing muscle means stimulating your muscle to make new muscle proteins, a process in the body that over time accumulates into bigger muscles."

Many people struggle with the idea of having to lift heavy amounts of weight in order to gain strength. But this new research offers a viable alternative that is not only easier to achieve, but that will put less strain on other areas of the body that are prone to being damaged by heavy lifting regimens.

The team examined subjects by giving them "heavy" weights that represented 90 percent of what they could physically lift, as well as "light" weights that were about 30 percent of what they could lift. Muscle fatigue occurs after between five and ten lifts of a weight that is 80 to 90 percent of what a person can lift, but according to study results, the same muscle fatigue is achieved after lifting the lighter weight about 25 times.

This is good news for everyone, especially for elderly and otherwise ill or injured people that are working towards building much-needed muscle mass. Now they can perform muscle building exercises that are easier for them but that will help to achieve the same results.

"We're excited to see where this new paradigm will lead," emphasized Phillips.

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